Indiana Takes Notice of Puerto Rico Product

Angel Garcia, a skilled 6-11 big man who spent last summer playing with the Puerto Rican National Team, has been getting interest from Indiana and a host of others...

Bloomington, Ind. – After spending most of last summer playing for the Puerto Rican national team, Angel Garcia will spend his second summer in America touring the AAU circuit.

Garcia and the CAPS All-Star squad made the trip to Bloomington this weekend for the Adidas May Classic and Garcia is continuing to make noise with his size and outside game.

"He's only a 2008 kid," said Garcia's AAU coach, Rick Johns. "Right now he's a solid outside shooter, especially for his size. He needs a little work on his inside post game, but he's still not bad down there. He handles the ball really well for a guy that's 6-11 and he can take it inside or out. His outside game is very good. He's a great shooter. When we played in a tournament down in Arkansas, he hit seven 3-pointers in one half.

"He needs to work on his defense, but most kids at his age do. He needs to work on some of the finer points, but again he's only going to be a junior. He has time to work on those things. He's definitely a budding talent."

Johns was among the first to see Garcia play last summer during the Spiece "Run ‘n Slam" tournament, however few have been able to see him play since he has only been in America since last summer. He's currently enrolled at Lake Forest Academy in Lake Forest, Ill.

"He was with us last summer when I was coaching the Spiece Northwest Stars and he played a couple of tournaments with us," said Johns. "He also played for the Puerto Rican national team last summer. That took up a lot of his time last summer. He really hasn't spent a lot of time in America."

With a 6-11 frame and outside range, Garcia's recruitment has heated up. The Hoosiers are yet to offer him a scholarship, but they have shown plenty of interest.

"He's got interest from just about every big school you could name, except for maybe Duke or North Carolina," said Johns. "Just about every Big Ten school has gotten in touch with me. A lot of schools are calling, but he hasn't made any visits yet.

"Indiana has not offered yet, but they have called about him. (Kelvin) Sampson has not called him, but (assistant coach Rob) Senderoff has called."

Because Garcia is just going into his junior year of high school he is most likely a full year and a half away from a decision on where he would like to play in college. Instead, he is focusing on improving his game and becoming more fluent in English.

"We were talking to him today about where he would want to go and he just shrugged his shoulders," said Johns. "He's a big puppy dog right now. He's just a kid who loves basketball. The biggest thing for him is going to be the school part of it because he doesn't speak English very well. That's going to be the thing that will be important. He's a really good kid."

Garcia will have a busy summer in front of him working the AAU circuit and attending camps.

"This is our fourth tournament so far this summer," said Johns. "We played in Arkansas, Houston and we played in the Spiece tournament last weekend. We've done really well so far and we'll be going to Louisville and Vegas in July.

"Angel will be going to the ABCD camp in July, so he won't be with us in Vegas. He'll also be going back and forth between here and Puerto Rico during the summer."

After spending this past school year playing for Lake Forest Academy, Garcia may switch schools for the 2006-07 school year. However, where he might go is unknown at this time.

"I'm not sure what next year holds as far as where he's going to be playing high school ball," said Johns. "He's at Lake Forest Academy in Chicago right now. He might be at Boys to Men next year. I don't know his plans yet. Nothing is set in stone except that he'll be here somewhere."

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